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  • Writer's pictureMarion Marquardt

Gjirokastra - the city of a thousand steps

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

We have arrived in Albania, our last country on the route. Now we have around 3 weeks before we have to go back to Germany. Gjirokastra is our first stop.

gjirokastra view valley albania
Gjirokastra overlooking the valley of Drinos

It was a long drive from Lake Ohrid. The roads are getting worse and worse and Google Maps almost guided us over Greece. A disaster considering the currently applicable entry restrictions due to Corona. In the late afternoon we arrive. We have booked an AirBnB in the old town. We leave our car a bit outside in a larger parking lot, because the streets are only in certain places wide enough to allow two vehicles to pass at the same time. We learned from our experience in Ohrid :-)

In the evening light we visit the castle - an impressive fortress with a breathtaking panoramic view over the city, the valley of Drinos and the surrounding mountains.

Then we walk back to our accommodation - with some detours ... It is easy to get lost in the alleys of Gjirokastra. None of the narrow streets just lead straight ahead. They lead up and down, around curves and corners.

gjirokastra albanien streets
In the streets of Gjirokastra

Our host Edmund offered to cook dinner for us. He is a professional chef and loves to pamper his guests with Albanian specialties. We don't say no. This will be our first culinary impression of Albania. And it's excellent! We feast our way through 5 courses. The ingredients are all from his own cultivation. Only the homemade wine tastes a bit like vinegar. However, this is not Edmund's fault, is probably a trademark of Albanian wine, as we should discover after 3 weeks in the country :-)

The next morning we are served a deluxe breakfast. And all on Edmund's terrace with a view over the city! A successful start in Albania.

frühstück breakfast gjirokastra albanien
Breakfast with a view

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